The Devil’s in the Metadata Details – Solving Business Process Challenges
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is most typically viewed at an infrastructure level and not at a granular level to address very specific business process bottlenecks that have a direct impact on the bottom line. To be quite honest, we usually address the infrastructure level.
Most companies really don’t have an enterprise metadata management strategy, let alone integrated into their information governance plan, if they even have that. Slowly many organizations are becoming more sophisticated and moving in that direction. I read a commentary just the other day that stated the word ‘metadata’ causes eyes to glaze over when speaking to business process owners. I can wax incessantly about metadata but that’s our company’s bread and butter and my paycheck.
But back to improving discrete business processes. One of our clients is a multi-national oil and gas company who was seeking to deploy a high quality search solution across technical research data to be used by over 5000 personnel. The objective was to improve geological decision making through the ability to identify accurate, relevant and related content from a large corpus of highly technical and specialized information. We were able to provide the underlying semantic and geo-tagging framework to improve FAST search in a SharePoint 2010 environment.
The result, by their estimate was a savings in excess of $1 million. Which leads me full circle. Is it better to tackle singular business process challenges, or roll-out a full blown enterprise metadata management project? The issue I see in addressing a singular problem is the organization ends up with a plethora of small solutions scattered, in this case, across the world. But rolling out an enterprise metadata management project is a huge undertaking where benefits may be much longer to realize. I don’t think there is a ‘correct’ answer.
How would you handle?